Transportation in Kunming
Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan province, is the political, educational and cultural centre of the province. It has the world natural heritage - Yunnan Stone Forest. It is called the "spring city" and "flower city" for its comfortable climate, is an ideal place to relax, travel, take a vacation and live. It is a transportation hub with a well-developed transportation system. You can get there by plane, train and long-distance bus. All of them offer great convenience to visitors.
Kunming's main airport is Kunming wujiaba international airport, situated in the south of downtown, about 7.5km from the downtown of Kunming, is one of China's top ten international airport and the second civil airport in the history of China. It has many international and domestic flights with connections to all wind directions that can reach most cities of world, details as the following:
Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Bangkok, Vientiane, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Rangoon, Mandalay, Osaka, Dubai, Dhaka, Colombo, etc.
Kunming is the main rail hub of Yunnan province. It has three railway stations, details are as the following:
1. Kunming Railway Station
It is located at the Panlong district of Kunming. Compared with the other railway station (North Railway Station), Kunming Railway Station services most of the trains to places to other provinces of China. Trains run north to Chengdu, southeast via Xingyi to Baise and Nanning in Guangxi, and east through Guizhou, via Liupanshui, Anshun, Guiyang, into the rest of the country. Tickets are sold in three days in advance.
2. Kunming North Railway Station
(Serviced by the No. 23 Bus) located at the heritage metre gauge Kunming–Hai Phong Railway, which runs to Hekou and Vietnam. In the past, every Friday and Sunday, a train used to depart to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam (the train from Kunming to Hekou and Hekou to Hanoi is currently not operating). It took about 16 hours to reach Hekou (a seat is ￥35, berths around ￥90), and 32 hours to Hanoi (hard sleeper lower bunk ￥175, upper bunk ￥235).
3. Kunming South Railway Station
Has recently been refurbished and has a ticket office on its lower level. The station serves destinations throughout China including Nanning, Guilin, Chengdu (Sichuan), Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai (around 37 hours!) and Xi'an. The train service to destinations inside of Yunnan is poor except for overnight sleeper trains to Xiaguan (Dali New Town, about 8 hours) and Lijiang.
Kunming has moved its bus stations to the edge of the city in a bid to decrease traffic congestion. There are four bus stations for each of the cardinal directions (N, S, E, and W). The general rule of thumb is you should go to the bus station in the direction you want to travel (if you are headed to Dali or Lijiang you will need to use the West Bus Station (Xibu Keyun Zhan); or if you are headed to Jinghong or Jianshui you will need the South Bus Station). You can reach Eastern bus station from railway station by bus 60 (￥2, about 30min).
Bicycle is a very popular way. Bicycles can be rented at some hostels for about ￥20 a day. There are bike lanes along the edges of many major roads and traffic generally moves fairly slowly.
Bus is a very convenient way to get around the city. City Buses are ￥1 apiece (￥2 for buses with air-condition, around ￥5 for minibuses to the city's outskirts). They operate from about 6AM until late evening 21:30/22:00.
Taxi is also a good way to travel around. The starting fare of taxi is ￥8, a fuel tax of ￥3 has been added to fares and is explained on a small sign on the dashboards of all taxis.
Tips: It is especially difficult to get a taxi around 6:30pm, when taxi shifts switch and drivers need to return their cars.